Mars Hydro TS 3000 Grow Light: Everything You Need To Know
Watch out pricey quantum board grow lights, the flagship Mars Hydro quantum board is here! In my opinion this Mars Hydro TS 3000w LED grow light may be the best value quantum board for a 4×4 grow space, but I’ll compare to a few other grow lights and let you decide for yourself.
The Mars Hydro TS 3000w quantum board LED grow light is Mars Hydro’s flagship quantum board light, intended as a direct competitor to the HLG 550 v2 and Spider Farmer SF 4000 quantum boards. This light will cover a 4×4 foot grow space and a 5x5x veg space while utilizing electricity at an efficient rate.
Just like the smaller sized TS 1000 and TSW 2000 models, the Mars Hydro TS 3000 sports a modern quantum board design. So what are you getting with this new design?
- White light spectrum plus infrared,
- Fanless design,
- Manageable heat,
- High power efficiency: Pulls 450 watts from the wall and emits 2.2 micromoles per Joule of energy used (uMol/J).
- Light intensity doesn’t decrease as much as traditional lights when you measure further from center underneath the light.
- Best price in its class
One of the biggest improvements on quantum board designs is the more evenly spread light intensity. For example, a low end traditional LED grow light may emit 1000 micromoles of light directly underneath the center, but as you measure 1 foot from center, the intensity will drop significantly.
That’s not helpful because ideally, you want intense light over the whole grow space, not just the center underneath the grow light. This was a common problem with LED grow lights under $500 until quantum boards came around and improved the situation.
More On Light Intensity:
One difference between the Mars Hydro TS 3000 and the main quantum board competitors HLG and Spider Farmer grow lights is the type of LED used. Mars Hydro is using Epistar LEDs while HLG and Spider Farmer use Samsung LEDs.
Samsung LEDs are generally viewed as higher quality, but there’s definitely some brand name premium priced in. The factors that will affect your grow will be the intensity of the light and the color spectrum emitted by differing brands.
First let’s take a look at the intensity on these three competing quantum board LED grow lights:
Full Grow Light Comparison Table:
If you expand the table above, you can see the Mars Hydro TS 3000 is slightly below the other two competitors on light intensity, but generally speaking it’s in the same neighborhood.
Once light intensity passes 617 uMols during an 18-hour daily veg cycle or 925 uMols during an 18-hour veg / 12-hour flower light cycle, crops experience diminishing returns on yield. You can read my article on that topic here.
All three of these grow lights are beyond that intensity level so you don’t have anything to worry about.
Mars Hydro TS 3000’s Spectrum:
The Mars Hydro TS 3000 emits a white light spectrum. In case you aren’t familiar with white spectrum, it’s been shown to be better than red and blue spectrum alone (better than purple spectrum lights). In fact, one study found it resulted in 12 to 16% higher tomato yields.¹
I’ve written about white light spectrum here if you’re interested in reading more. When it comes to the Mars Hydro TS 3000, the combined light intensity and white light spectrum are basically as good as it gets for a grow light. It’s pretty impressive that Mars Hydro has been able to bring this type of quality down to this price level.
More specifically, the spectrum on the Mars Hydro TS 3000 consists of 660-665nm, 3000K-3200K, 6000K-6500K, and 760nm (infrared). Together it makes up a full white spectrum that’ll take your plants from seedling to flowering under one lamp.
How does this spectrum compare to the HLG 550 and the Spider Farmer SF 4000? The Mars Hydro utilizes a combination of 3000K-3200K & 6000K-6500K. Some growers prefer the 6000k range for vegging and 3000K range for flowering. With that said, spectrum isn’t a completely settled science, and so that’s why you see so many variations between different grow lights.
Spider Farmer mixes 3000K and 5000K, HLG uses only 4000K and calls it a day. We know plants grow under a wide range of spectrum temperatures, but there haven’t been any tests to distinguish between different temperatures yet.
Keep Heat Outside Your Tent:
The Mars Hydro TS-3000 includes the ability to separate the drivers from the grow light, and locate them outside your grow tent. This can be incredibly helpful to maintain proper temperatures in your tent.
Pros & Cons:
Warranty and Owner Comments:
Mars Hydro provides a generous 3 year warranty with the TS series grow lights. I’ve dealt with Mars Hydro myself, and I can say they were always timely to respond to my emails.
The Mars Hydro TS 3000 is brand new, so nobody has written about their experience with this light yet. But based on the same design and LED type, I’m willing to bet it’s a similar experience to owners of the smaller TS 1000 and TSW/TSL 2000 models.
A few owners of those lights have mentioned that their lights run a bit warm since there aren’t any fans on the light. It’ll probably be the same situation with the Mars Hydro TS 3000.
Those owners reported that adding a fan to their grow tent resolved the issue. I’d say most people have some sort of fan in their grow tent anyway, and if you don’t you can check out my article about grow tent fans to make sure you pick the correct fan size and power level for your sized grow tent.
My opinion on the Mars Hydro TS 3000w:
You’re completely free to go with whatever grow light or brand you like most. I’d personally feel comfortable having either of the three models mentioned above in my 4×4 grow tent.
But one thing is for sure – if you have a 4×4 or even a 3×3 grow tent and you’re looking for a grow light – it *should* be one of these three (Mars Hydro TS 3000, Spider Farmer SF 4000, or HLG 550 V2). I just happen to think the TS 3000 is the best all around value of the three.
Mars Hydro created a light that can closely compete with the most modern and best performing grow lights currently out, and they priced it at a level that’s pretty irresistable – just about half the price of the similarly spec’d HLG 550 V2.
Many people like to know who they’re doing business with. It brings comfort knowing you’re dealing with an experienced and well established brand that has the capability of providing you a quality product and a good experience. With the TS 3000 and the rest of the TS series, Mars Hydro is a trustworthy new entrant to the quantum board grow light market:
They’ve been around for horticulture lighting for roughly ten years. The Mars Hydro TS 3000 is just one new item in a full product line of LED grow lights, grow tents, grow kits, and related accessories.
Mars Hydro knows the business well, and their customers appreciate them for it, judging by the positive comments I’ve seen in several places online.
Moreover, Mars Hydro has multiple warehouses all around the world including various tier one countries like USA, Canada, UK, Germany, Russia, and Australia.
I definitely think the TS 3000w will become widely adopted for the reasons listed above.
The Mars Hydro TS 3000 offers the best value for a 4 by 4 foot grow space.
The difference is the amount of space that each grow light covers and the amount of light intensity each light emits. The TS 3000 is the strongest and covers the largest amount of space (4 by 4 foot).
The Mars Hydro TS 3000 is strong enough to grow cannabis, fruit or vegetable bearing plants.
The Mars Hydro TS 3000 is priced the best compared to lights that emit this amount of intensity and cover 4 by 4 feet of space.
Users have reported the Mars Hydro TS 3000 emits some heat, like all grow lights. You may need a space fan depending on your growing environment. You can also place the drivers outside the tent with included equipment.
The Mars Hydro TS 3000 consumes about 450 watts.
You can dim the Mars Hydro TS 3000 with a screwdriver by using the small socket on the underside of the drivers.
1. MARUO, Toru, et al. “Effects of Supplemental Lighting with Light-Emitting Diodes (LEDs) on Tomato Yield and Quality of Single-Truss Tomato Plants Grown at High Planting Density.” Environmental Control in Biology, Japanese Society of Agricultural, Biological and Environmental Engineers and Scientists, 11 June 2012, https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/ecb/50/1/50_63/_article.
2. Chandra, Suman, Hemant Lata, Ikhlas Khan, and Mahmoud Elsohly. “Photosynthetic response of Cannabis sativa L. to variations in photosynthetic photon flux densities, temperature and CO2 conditions.” Physiology and Molecular Biology of Plants 14.4 (2009): 299-306.
4. Eichhorn Bilodeau, Samuel et al. “An Update On Plant Photobiology And Implications For Cannabis Production”. Frontiers In Plant Science, vol 10, 2019. Frontiers Media SA, doi:10.3389/fpls.2019.00296. Accessed 14 Oct 2019.
5. Lin, K., Huang, M., Huang, W., Hsu, M., Yang, Z. and Yang, C. (2013). The effects of red, blue, and white light-emitting diodes on the growth, development, and edible quality of hydroponically grown lettuce (Lactuca sativa L. var. capitata). Scientia Horticulturae, 150, pp.86-91.
2. Mars Hydro